Karen Carpenter
Singer, Musician
Karen Carpenter
Karen Anne Carpenter was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard, formed the 1970s duo The Carpenters. She was a drummer of exceptional skill, but she is best remembered for her vocal performances of idealistic romantic ballads of true love. The Carpenters signature song is "We've Only Just Begun" which remains a popular wedding ballad.
Biography
Karen Carpenter's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Karen Carpenter
News
News abour Karen Carpenter from around the web
Taylor Miller, Loretta Swit to Join Chicago's Love, Loss, and What I Wore - TheaterMania.com
Google News - over 5 years
The show, which is written by Nora and Delia Ephron and directed by Karen Carpenter, is based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman, as well as on the recollections of the Ephrons' friends. It uses clothing and accessories and the memories they
Article Link:
Google News article
Carolyn Hax: Words of wisdom from our readers - Oakland Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Karen Carpenter was given tons of sympathy for her eating disorder. Mama Cass was ripped to shreds. Many people still believe she choked on a ham sandwich. Comments to thin people are nothing like the hurtful comments you hear when you're fat
Article Link:
Google News article
Carpenters tribute at Cromer Pier - Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Google News - over 5 years
Carole Gordon provides the silky voice of Karen Carpenter backed by the Blue Jeans Band, singers and dancers to bring alive singalong songs such as Yesterday Once More, Goodbye to Love, Close To You and Only Yesterday. A Carpenters country medley with
Article Link:
Google News article
Norah Jones and Tony Bennett - NPR (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Phil Ramone, who's worked with everyone from Karen Carpenter and Burt Bacharach to Madonna, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney, produced Duets II. The album is due out Sept. 20. NPR reserves the right to read on the air and/or publish on its website or
Article Link:
Google News article
“The Advocate” Remembers Karen Carpenter - Just Out (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Advocate ran a story today on understated, sometimes-forgotten gay icon Karen Carpenter, (the better) half of the best-selling, arguably most popular (American) musical act of the 70s. (And mainstay of queer culture–recall the Karen Carpenter
Article Link:
Google News article
School Board Finds Another $3 Million in Budget Cuts - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
But board member Karen Carpenter, who voted against an increase in the proposed millage rate earlier this month, wanted even more cuts from the capital budget. When it came down to cutting another $3 million from the operating budget, including for
Article Link:
Google News article
Jan Terri - A.V. Club Chicago
Google News - over 5 years
I liked Karen Carpenter, because she was a singer and a drummer. JT: I play the drums. I'm okay—I haven't played lately. I was the 1980 Illinois State Champ. AVC: In marching band or a rock band contest? JT: No, like regular type [of drums] you'd use
Article Link:
Google News article
Emily Bergl, Nora Dunn, Felicia Fields, et al. Set for Love, Loss, and What I ... - TheaterMania.com
Google News - over 5 years
The show, which is written by Nora and Delia Ephron and directed by Karen Carpenter, is based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman, as well as on the recollections of the Ephrons' friends
Article Link:
Google News article
Manatee School Board Special Budget Meeting Results July 11, 2011 - The Bradenton Times
Google News - over 5 years
Julie Aranibar and Karen Carpenter opposed all aspects of the Superintendent's budget resolution. They felt that he could have looked at more options before undertaking such a reduction in employee pay at a time when insurance premiums are on the rise
Article Link:
Google News article
Highland Inn Ballroom Book Bash - Metromix Atlanta
Google News - over 5 years
The Ballroom Book Bash returns with Randy Schmidt's new Karen Carpenter biography Little Girl Blue. A band of local musicians headed up by Becky Shaw of Roxie Watson (on drums and lead vocals) will perform music from the Carpenters songbook
Article Link:
Google News article
Manatee school board members deal with pain of budget cuts - Bradenton Herald
Google News - over 5 years
BRADENTON -- If all employees are going to face pay cuts, Manatee District school board member Karen Carpenter said Friday she wants to make sure her peers on the board aren't exempt from the pain
Article Link:
Google News article
Addicted in Hollywood: Scary Lengths Stars Go to Stay Scary Skinny - Fox News
Google News - over 5 years
Singer Karen Carpenter died at 32 of complications from anorexia nervosa, specifically "cardiotoxicity" brought on by the chemical emetine, found in the now banned over-the-counter drug, ipecac. Glamazon Anna Nicole-Smith,
Article Link:
Google News article
Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter - MyFox Memphis
Google News - over 5 years
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - There is a new biography about the life of the 1970's singing superstar. The author, Randy l. Schmidt served as creative consultant for several television documentaries on the Carpenters such as True Hollywood Story, A&Es biography and
Article Link:
Google News article
Author of Karen Carpenter bio 'Little Girl Blue' comes to Memphis - Memphis Commercial Appeal (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
People of a certain age remember the 1983 death of the pop star Karen Carpenter at the age of 32 as their first notice that anorexia nervosa was a lethal disorder. It was a time when you still might hear the
Article Link:
Google News article
Staff Attorney Scott Martin Latest to Join School District's 100 Grand Club - The Bradenton Times
Google News - over 5 years
Board members Karen Carpenter and Julie Aranibar voted against the action. Aranibar felt that some of the language used by Martin during negotiations for teacher's contracts were cause for concern that he would not be able to effectively represent them
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Karen Carpenter
    THIRTIES
  • 1983
    Age 32
    On October 12, 1983, the Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details It is located at 6931 Hollywood Blvd., a few yards from the Dolby Theater. Richard, Harold and Agnes Carpenter attended the inauguration, as did many fans. The 43-minute film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987) was directed by Todd Haynes and was withdrawn from circulation in 1990, after Haynes lost a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Karen's brother and musical collaborator, Richard Carpenter. The film's title is derived from The Carpenters' 1971 hit song, "Superstar". Over the years, it has developed into a cult film and is included in Entertainment Weeklys 2003 list of top 50 cult movies. On January 1, 1989, the similarly titled made-for-TV movie The Karen Carpenter Story aired on CBS with Cynthia Gibb in the title role. Gibb lip-synced the songs to Carpenter's recorded voice, with the exception of "The End of the World." Both films use the song "This Masquerade" in the background while showing Carpenter's marriage to Burris.
    Carpenter's funeral service took place on February 8, 1983, at the Downey United Methodist Church.
    More Details Hide Details Dressed in a rose-colored suit, Carpenter lay in an open white casket. Over 1,000 mourners passed through to say goodbye, among them her friends Dorothy Hamill, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, and Dionne Warwick. Carpenter's estranged husband Tom attended her funeral, where he took off his wedding ring and placed it inside the casket. She was entombed at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California. In 2003, Richard had Karen re-interred, along with their parents, in a newly constructed outdoor Carpenter family mausoleum at the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California, which is closer to his Southern California home. Carpenter's death brought media attention to anorexia nervosa and also to bulimia. The general public had little knowledge of anorexia nervosa and bulimia prior to Carpenter's death, making the condition difficult to identify and treat. Her family started the Karen A. Carpenter Memorial Foundation, which raised money for research on anorexia nervosa and eating disorders. Today the name of the organization has been changed to the Carpenter Family Foundation. In addition to eating disorders, the foundation now funds the arts, entertainment and education.
    On February 4, 1983, less than a month before her 33rd birthday, Carpenter intended to sign papers making her divorce from Tom Burris official.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after waking up, Carpenter collapsed in her bedroom at her parents' home in Downey, California. Paramedics called to the scene by Karen's mother found her heart beating once every 10 seconds. She was taken to nearby Downey Community Hospital for treatment, where – by then in full cardiac arrest – she was pronounced dead 20 minutes later at 9:51 a.m. The acting Los Angeles County coroner Dr. Ronald Kornblum performed the autopsy on Karen Carpenter. The results of the autopsy and cause of death were released to the public on March 11, 1983, by way of a press conference and accompanying press release. A drug or medication overdose was explicitly ruled out. The cause of Karen Carpenter's death was stated as "emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa." What was not specified in the report was how the emetine got into Carpenter's system.
    On January 11, 1983, Karen made her last public appearance at a photocall of past Grammy Award winners to celebrate the award's 25th anniversary.
    More Details Hide Details Karen appeared somewhat frail and worn out, but according to Dionne Warwick, she was vibrant and outgoing, exclaiming to everyone, "Look at me! I've got an ass!"
  • 1982
    Age 31
    On December 17, 1982, Karen gave her last singing performance in the multi-purpose room of the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, singing Christmas carols for her godchildren, their classmates who attended the school, and other friends.
    More Details Hide Details
    Carpenter returned to California in November 1982, determined to reinvigorate her career, finalize her divorce, and begin a new album with Richard.
    More Details Hide Details
    Finally in September 1982, she was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and hooked up to an intravenous drip, which caused her to gain a considerable amount of weight (30 pounds) in just eight weeks.
    More Details Hide Details The sudden weight gain further strained her heart, which was already weak from years of dietary restriction.
    "Now", recorded in April 1982, was the last song Carpenter recorded.
    More Details Hide Details She recorded it after a two-week intermission in her therapy with psychotherapist Steven Levenkron in New York City for her anorexia, during which she had lost a considerable amount of weight. During her illness, in order to lose weight, she had taken thyroid replacement medication (to speed up her metabolism) and laxatives. Despite her participation in therapy, her condition continued to deteriorate and she only lost more weight, leading Carpenter to call her psychotherapist to tell him she felt dizzy and that her heart was beating irregularly.
  • 1981
    Age 30
    In September 1981, Carpenter revised her will and left everything to her brother and parents.
    More Details Hide Details Two months later, following an argument after a family dinner in a restaurant, Carpenter and Burris broke up. Carpenter filed for divorce while staying in Lenox Hill Hospital. Burris later remarried and now resides in Sedona, Arizona with his wife of over 30 years. He has not publicly spoken about his marriage to Carpenter due to a confidentiality agreement.
    A new song performed by Carpenter at the ceremony, "Because We Are in Love", was released in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Burris concealed from Carpenter, who desperately wanted children, the fact that he had undergone a vasectomy. Their marriage did not survive the deceit and ended after 14 months. In addition to that, Burris was said to have been broke and living well beyond his means, borrowing up to $35,000 and $50,000 at a time from his wife, to the point that she had only stocks and bonds left. He was also said to have been abusive towards her, often being impatient with Karen, who shared with close friends that she remained fearful when he would occasionally lose his temper with her. Close friend Karen "Itchie" Ramone recounted one incident where she and Carpenter went to their normal hangout, Hamburger Hamlet, and Karen appeared to be distant emotionally, sitting not at their regular table but in the dark, and wearing large dark sunglasses, unable to eat and crying. According to Itchie, the marriage was "the straw that broke the camel's back. It was absolutely the worst thing that could have ever happened to her."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1980
    Age 29
    Carpenter dated a number of well-known men, including Mike Curb, Tony Danza, Terry Ellis, Mark Harmon, Steve Martin, and Alan Osmond. After a whirlwind romance, she married real-estate developer Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980, in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
    More Details Hide Details Burris, divorced with an 18-year-old son, was nine years her senior.
  • 1976
    Age 25
    In 1976, Carpenter bought two Century City apartments, gutted them, and turned them into one condominium.
    More Details Hide Details Located at 2222 Avenue of the Stars, the doorbell chimed the first six notes of "We've Only Just Begun". As a housewarming gift, her mother gave her a collection of leather-bound classic works of literature. Carpenter collected Disney memorabilia, loved to play softball and baseball, and counted Petula Clark, Olivia Newton-John, and Dionne Warwick among her closest friends.
    The Carpenters' Very First TV Special aired December 8, 1976.
    More Details Hide Details In 1980, she performed a medley of standards in a duet with Ella Fitzgerald on the Carpenters' television program Music, Music, Music. In 1981, after the release of the Made in America album (which turned out to be their last), the Carpenters returned to the stage and did some tour dates, including their final live performance in Brazil. In addition to being a drummer and a singer, Karen Carpenter could also play the electric bass guitar. She played bass guitar on two songs on Offering/Ticket to Ride (the Carpenters first album released by A&M). The two songs were All of My Life and Eve. Although Karen's bass playing is heard on the original album(s), Richard remixed both songs (as he has done with almost every Carpenters song), and Joe Osborn's bass playing was substituted for later "greatest hits" releases.
  • 1973
    Age 22
    After the release of Now & Then in 1973, the albums tended to have Carpenter singing more and drumming less.
    More Details Hide Details At this time, her brother developed an addiction to Quaaludes. The Carpenters frequently cancelled tour dates, and they stopped touring altogether after their September 4, 1978, concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
  • 1971
    Age 20
    In September and October of 1971, two years after the Carpenters' debut album, she and her brother bought two apartment buildings in Downey as a financial investment.
    More Details Hide Details Formerly named the "Geneva", the two complexes were renamed "Only Just Begun" and "Close to You" in honor of the duo's first smash hits. The apartment buildings are located at 8353 and 8356 5th Street, Downey, California.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1969
    Age 18
    Finally A&M Records signed the Carpenters to a recording contract in 1969.
    More Details Hide Details Karen sang most of the songs on the band's first album, Offering (later retitled Ticket to Ride), and her brother wrote 10 out of the album's 13 songs. The issued single (later the title track), which was a cover of a Beatles song, became their first single; it reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their next album, 1970's Close to You, featured two massive hit singles: "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". They peaked at #1 and #2, respectively, on the Hot 100. Carpenter started out as both the group's drummer and lead singer, and she originally sang all her vocals from behind the drum set. Because she was just 5 feet 4 inches tall, it was difficult for people in the audience to see her behind her drum kit, so she was eventually persuaded to stand at the microphone to sing the band's hits while another musician played the drums (former Disney Mouseketeer Cubby O'Brien served as the band's other drummer for many years).
  • 1965
    Age 14
    From 1965 to 1968 Karen, her brother Richard, and his college friend Wes Jacobs, a bassist and tuba player, formed The Richard Carpenter Trio.
    More Details Hide Details The band played jazz at numerous nightclubs and also appeared on the TV talent show Your All-American College Show. Karen, Richard and other musicians, including Gary Sims and John Bettis, also performed as an ensemble known as Spectrum. Spectrum focused on a harmonious and vocal sound, and recorded many demo tapes in the garage studio of friend and bassist Joe Osborn. Many of those tapes were rejected by record companies. According to former Carpenters member John Bettis, those rejections "took their toll." The tapes of the original sessions were lost in a fire at Joe Osborn's house, and the surviving versions of those early songs exist only as fragile acetate reference discs.
    She and her brother made their first recordings in 1965 and 1966.
    More Details Hide Details The following year she began dieting. Under a doctor's guidance, she went on the Stillman Diet. She rigorously ate lean foods, drank eight glasses of water a day, and avoided fatty foods. She was 5' 4" (163 cm) in height and before dieting weighed and afterwards weighed until 1973, when the Carpenters' career reached its peak. By September 1975, her weight was.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1950
    Born
    Born on March 2, 1950.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)